The Chinese e-cigarette manufacturer Innokin has been getting a lot of attention lately, partly because of the samples they’ve sent to bloggers such as myself and partly because their products simply look cooler than a lot of the other e-cigarettes on the market. I’ve had the Innokin iTaste MVP sitting on the top of my stack of e-cigarette products to review for quite some time. I suppose I’ve been putting this review off because the iTaste MVP is so cool that I’d rather not say anything negative about it. Unfortunately, the iTaste MVP has a very serious problem that’s too major to ignore, and even ignoring that problem it’s a bit limited in performance for the price at which it sells.
About the iTaste MVP
The Innokin iTaste MVP is a box-shaped variable-voltage e-cigarette with threading that fits 306, 510 and eGo atomizers, cartomizers and tanks. It includes two CE4-style clearomizers and a small metal sleeve for protecting certain types of tank cartomizers. The iTaste MVP has a maximum power level of 5.0 volts and a non-removable 2600 mAh battery. Although you can’t remove the battery when it dies, the iTaste MVP does have the ability to operate when connected to a USB port. So, as long as you’re near a computer, you’ll never be unable to vape.
The large battery of the iTaste MVP also makes it possible to add a unique benefit that very few e-cigarette products possess: the ability to charge external devices. Simply connect your own USB cable or the included multi-cable, flip a switch on the bottom of the iTaste MVP and you’re charging your mobile phone, tablet or other device. I tested this feature with my iPad, and the iPad immediately registered that it was receiving a charge. Within a few minutes, however, the iTaste MVP became quite hot and I decided not to complete the charge.
The overall appearance of the iTaste MVP is quite polished and classy. While the unit is admittedly boxy, it’s easy to hold and the fire button is in a convenient location. There’s no need to check the battery charge, as the button changes from green to orange and finally to red as the battery dies. The unit also isn’t too difficult to carry in a pocket, as the smooth metal surface doesn’t tend to stick to things.
iTaste MVP Review
To review the iTaste MVP, I began by filling one of the included CE4-style clearomizers. Innokin’s clearomizers use a design that’s incredibly popular right now; a large tank holds a substantial amount of e-liquid, and wicks carry the e-liquid up to a heating coil near the mouthpiece at the top of the unit. Filling the clearomizer is accomplished by simply twisting the mouthpiece off and adding e-liquid to the tank. No syringe is needed. This type of cartomizer isn’t my favorite; I find the flavor to be a bit plastic-tinged compared to the Boge cartomizers I prefer. However, I can’t deny that Boge cartomizers are a pain to fill and need to be topped off frequently, especially when vaping at higher voltages. The CE4 clearomizers hold somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 ml and can easily last a full day — although this is partially due to the iTaste MVP’s power limit of five volts.
Therein lies the iTaste MVP’s first problem; although I’m sure that many people never exceed five volts when vaping, I’m not one of them. My preferred setup is a ProVari Mini set to six volts and configured with a high-resistance cartomizer, and I’ve never been able to get exactly the same taste and nicotine hit at a lower voltage simply by changing the resistance of the attachment. For me, then, the iTaste MVP could never be the only device I use. For those who are fine with lower voltages and top-coil clearomizers — and I know there are many of you — the iTaste MVP performs quite well indeed. The included clearomizers are some of the least plastic-tasting I’ve ever used and vapor production is consistent all the way to the bottom of the tank.
The second problem with the iTaste MVP, however, is a more serious one: the included clearomizers leak and the iTaste’s attachment threading isn’t sealed. During the review process, I left the iTaste MVP face-up on a table one night only to discover a puddle of e-liquid on my table the next morning. The e-liquid had leaked through the clearomizer and attachment threading and passed through the entire unit, which isn’t meant to be opened or serviced by the end user.
Although I hate to give an e-cigarette an outright negative review when it has so many other things going for it, this experience seems to suggest that there’s a high chance of ruining your iTaste MVP if you aren’t careful with it. Although I’ve rarely experienced a problem with a leaking Boge-style cartomizer, dripping with an atomizer is certainly out of the question here — and it’s a serious problem when an e-cigarette doesn’t work properly with the cartomizers included in the package.
Innokin iTaste MVP: Conclusion
No matter what type of e-cigarette attachment you use — be it a cartomizer, atomizer or tank — you’re going to go through a lot of e-liquid. Eventually, you”ll use an attachment that ends up leaking; there’s no way around it. That’s why virtually every e-cigarette designed for a variety of attachments has sealed threading; when something does leak, there’s little possibility of ruining your e-cigarette and the spill can be cleaned easily. The fact that leaks can pass through the iTaste MVP is a serious oversight in my opinion, and it’ll be very difficult for me to recommend it until Innokin corrects this issue.